This correspondence presents performance analysis of symbol-level soft-decision decoding of q-ary maximum-distance-separable (MDS) codes based on the ordered statistics algorithm. The method we present is inspired by the one recently proposed by Agrawal and Vardy (2000), who approximately evaluate the performance of generalized minimum-distance decoding. The correspondence shows that in our context, the method allows us to compute the exact value of the probability that the transmitted codeword is not one of the candidate codewords. This leads to a close upper bound on the performance of the decoding algorithm. Application of the ordered statistics algorithm to MDS codes is not new. Nevertheless, its advantages seem not to be fully explored. We show an example where the decoding algorithm is applied to singly extended 16-ary Reed-Solomon (RS) codes in a 128-dimensional multilevel coded-modulation scheme that approaches the sphere lower bound within 0.5 dB at the word error probability of 10-4 with manageable decoding complexity.